We've all been there. When compared to weekdays, weekends can be (heck, they ARE) sacred. We all cherish this short period from Friday evening until Saturday night, but unfortunately, the weekends fly by so fast that we fail to make the most of them.
On that note, if you want to enjoy your weekends more and want to experience them to the fullest, here are a few ways you can make the most out of them while still feeling energized and refreshed Monday morning to tackle the challenges of the new week.
1. Change the Way You Think About Weekends
According to a study first published in the Harvard Business Review, you may be able to get more out of your weekends simply by changing your mindset. Researchers wanted to see whether study participants get the same enjoyment out of their weekends as they do on vacation. So, on Friday, they told half the participants to treat the weekends as if they were a vacation, while the control group was told to treat the weekend as they usually would. Ultimately, researchers found that those who treated their weekend like a vacation were happier than the control group.
Why is this study critical? It literally shows that just changing your mindset can be enough to get the most out of your weekends.
Also, changing your mindset is only a part of the equation. Changing your approach can also help you get more "weekend" out of the actual weekend.
2. Plan Ahead
While we all like being spontaneous and a bit unpredictable, having plans for the weekend can help us keep track of things and have a good time. You don't necessarily have to plan a visit to Disneyland – even smaller things, like visiting the best burger restaurant in town can be a fulfilling experience, especially if you go with friends and family.
If you don't have anything planned for the weekend, chances are, you will end up doing little and regret wasting your time. Also, planning can create anticipation, improving weekdays, not just the weekend.
3. Don't Overdo It
There's a difference between frivoling time away and letting yourself unwind. That said, to get the most out of your weekend, you also need to allow yourself some downtime, both in the physical and mental sense. Recharging your batteries with a book or watching a few episodes of your favorite show can help you relax and prepare you for the upcoming week.
4. Don't Get Stuck in a Routine
Routines should be reserved for weekdays. We're not saying that you should try something extravagant every week, but things can get pretty stale if you are doing the same things every weekend. Try stepping out of your comfort zone by joining a new club, pursuing a forgotten old hobby you used to love, or crossing something off of your bucket list.
5. Don't Avoid Nature
A longer walk, jogging, or bike riding outside (preferably in nature) can help you refreshen yourself and recharge your batteries, apart from the apparent health benefits. Catch up on your wellness and fitness routine during the weekends, but don't overexercise, as it can leave you feeling burnt out.
6. Don't Let Monday Ruin Sunday
Many of us focus on Monday's obligation so much that it ruins our Sunday. Avoid the Sunday blues by planning something like a visit to the nearest water park or something simpler, like a family picnic or brunch with friends.
7. Plan out The Upcoming Week
Lastly, make sure you take some time Sunday night to plan the upcoming week. This way, you will have a thorough to-do list in front of you by Monday, and planning something for the upcoming weekend will also build anticipation throughout the weekdays, helping you get through even the most demanding challenges the week can throw at you.
The Bottom Line
Getting more out of your free time shouldn’t be challenging with these tips. Sure, it’s easy to get sidetracked, and sometimes, our chores will eat up most of our downtime. Still, with the right approach, we can enjoy every weekend – even the busier ones.
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